Many of us are more familiar with crispy calamari rings, coated with batter and deep fried. They are very tasty, but also can be quite heavy. Calamari salads are a bit less known, and it’s a shame, as they are a wonderful fresh alternative.
Here is one example for such a salad: lemony and green with fresh parsley, it is just perfect for a hot summer day. It is very easy to prepare and even easier to serve, as it is prepared ahead of time and kept in the fridge until serving. I’m sure you’ll love it once you’ll try it.
A few notes:
* If you are squeamish about using the calamari tentacles, you can prepare the salad using the body rings only. However, the purple tentacles add both color and different texture, so I highly recommend using them.
* If you’re using fresh calamari, cleaning will take a bit longer than with frozen ones, as you’ll need to remove the eye and ink sac as well. In this case, make sure to wash the calamari even more thoroughly, as they usually have more sand in them.
* Cooking time can vary depending on size, but even with bigger ones, it’s crucial to keep cooking time as short as possible, otherwise you’ll end up with rubbery, chewy texture. Remember the rule about cooking calamari: it’s either very short or very long cooking time.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Marinating time: 2 hours and up to overnight
1.1 lb (500 grams) whole cleaned calamari, frozen, thawed
1 medium lemon, washed
1 tsp salt
½ cup flat parsley, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely diced
¼ cup capers, drained
2 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
3 slices lemon, roughly chopped with the peel on
1. Prepare the calamari: separate the tentacles from the body, remove the wings and check for any bones (they look like clear plastic). Place in a colander and wash thoroughly. Cut the body into thick rings, drain and transfer to a small bowl. Keep the colander in the sink.
2. Cut the lemon in half and juice it. Keep the juice on the side and place the lemon halves in a medium size pot. Add 1 tsp salt, fill with water and boil.
3. While waiting for the water to boil, chop the parsley and dice the garlic. Place in a medium bowl and add the capers, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Mix and keep on the side.
4. Once the water is boiling, add the cleaned calamari. Bring back to the boil and cook for 40 seconds longer. (The overall cooking time is about a minute.) Quickly drain into the colander and wash with very cold water for a couple of minutes, to stop the cooking.
5. While still slightly warm, add the cooked calamari to the bowl with the parsley and mix well. Add the olive oil, mix and transfer to an airtight container. Cover and place in the fridge for 2 hours.
6. To serve, bring to room temperature, add the diced lemon and mix. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Serve at room temperature.